WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Mary L. Landrieu, D-La., Chair of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, made the following comments following the Senate's unanimous vote on Amendment 1115 to the National Defense Authorization bill. The amendment would reauthorize the Small Business innovation and Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs for another eight years.

“Tonight, we are closer than we’ve ever been on achieving a long-term reauthorization for the SBIR and STTR programs,” Senator Landrieu said. “My Senate colleagues and I have been working all year to get this done and, with this vote, the Senate has set politics aside and given our support to small business and innovation. This amendment not only keeps these programs alive, it also gives them stability and I thank Senators Levin and McCain for their help in getting tonight’s vote. I am hopeful our counterparts in the House will work with us to bring this to the President’s desk immediately so that we can continue to keep our nation on the forefront of defense technology and scientific innovation.”

The amendment, which passed by unanimous voice vote, provides for a long-term extension of SBIR and STTR programs through 2019.

Enacted by Congress in 1982, the SBIR program is the largest federal research and development program for small businesses and one of the largest examples of U.S. public-private partnerships. The program allows small businesses to compete for a portion of federal research dollars in order to help the agencies meet their many missions. By including small businesses in the nation’s R&D efforts, SBIR grants and contracts are intended to stimulate innovative solutions to help the agencies meet specific research and development needs, from areas of health and environment to national defense and agriculture, and move the ideas from lab to market, whether for the government or commercial purposes.